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So far in 2015/16: Three well-executed features from the latest crop of resort websites.

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For every topic I do cover, I have a collection of 3-10 small, but clever, tactics that are hard to shape into a solo post but nonetheless deserve some love. This week I’m sharing a few groups of these efforts from resort marketers so far in 2015/16.

The innovation and quality of work within resort websites continues to impress.

Among the highlights so far this season, I’d put these three right at the top in terms of quality, clever execution, and the strength of their message.

Holiday Valley Launch
I covered Propeller’s Prop Maps product back in July, but with the recent launch of Holiday Valley’s site we’re able to see it in the wild.

The interface is just as clean and responsive as promised and is really, really sharp.

The rest of the site is really nicely done as well. One thing that I noticed catching my attention and keeping me engaged more than usual was the hero video that plays when you first arrive on the home page. Not just groomers or park rats, I like the wide shots of the resort and trails and lifts that helped me quickly get a feel for Holiday Valley as a destination.

Mt Hood Conditions
Navigating a website isn’t always a fun experience even with a flawless UI. So, why not sprinkle so bits of cheer throughout the copy and more popular pages like Mt Hood?

Somewhere in the code is an engine that shows a random comparison to help skiers visualize how much snow they actually have. Aside from food trucks, Wampas are another one you may see with current base depths.

mthoodreport

And notice the clever “r**n” reference in that day’s report.

Strength of Sunlight Copy
The longer I ski and the more I study resort marketing, the stronger ski areas’ marketing position seems to be. Sunlight isn’t the first to address this, but as I read this “welcome” copy I couldn’t help but feel a bit more confidence than usual within the message.

aboutsunlight

If you can’t read it in the image it says,

“Sunlight gives you a full day of skiing for about half the cost of the mega resorts. You’ll park for free, walk to the lifts, and never stand in line. Without the big crowds, our powder lasts for days. All 67 trails lead right back to the lodge where you can stow your gear, meet your family and friends, and get something hot and delicious at the grill. No hassles. No hype. It’s exactly why you go skiing or riding.”

I think it’s that last bit, the “it’s exactly why you go skiing” that subtly addresses the disconnect between why skiers head to the mountains and the inability of many large resorts to satisfy that even half as well as a smaller area.

Like all of these features, it’s a small thing that makes a big difference.

Do enough of those small things on any resort website and you’ll find yourself with a site that can be a serious, powerful compliment to your marketing efforts.

Published January 25th, 2016 by Gregg Blanchard.